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Ravindra Jadeja needs to step up and improve his batting: MS Dhoni

Perth: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Friday made it clear that he was not happy with Ravindra Jadeja's performance with the bat at number eight and said he won't be able to persist with him by just having faith in his abilities.

All-rounder Jadeja has failed in all three matches against big oppositions with scores reading 3, 2 and 13 against Pakistan, South Africa and West Indies respectively.

Asked if he is happy with Jadeja's application, Dhoni said, "No, I think he needs to improve. He needs to step up really because we have a lot of faith in him, but at the end of the day you can't really play with hope. What you want is actually performance on the field," Dhoni stated about his Chennai Super Kings teammate.

Dhoni though also had words of praise for Jadeja.

"He has that capability. You don't get three triple hundreds in India just because you know how to bat. He's definitely talented, but he needs to keep believing in himself. Every batsman is tested in a few areas. They will bowl short-pitched deliveries to him. He will have to find a way in which he can tackle it because every batsman tackles it in a different way. So he'll have to find a way, what he can really do."

The Indian skipper felt that there won't be much turn on offer for the spinners in New Zealand where they play the next two matches.

"The problem is that the side looks better when we play with two spinners. Even though Jadeja is not performing really well as a batsman, but he still gives you that comfort if he is at Nos 6 or 7, one of the slots, it looks like a slightly better side.

"We also have to keep in mind the slower rate because a lot of people dig into the stats. Someone told me whenever we have played with four fast bowlers, 90 percent of the time we lose and 100 percent of the time the captain gets banned," he said with a smile.

"Hopefully, the spinners, they would have learned from the last outing in New Zealand. Yes, they may not get a lot of turn over there, but they can still play with the pace and they can vary their length to a lot of extent. Hopefully both the spinners are bowling well and they'll carry the form forward into the next couple of games."

While he praised Man of the Match Mohammed Shami for his bowling, Dhoni said that he doesn't believe in emphasising on individual performance and is happy when the bowlers hunt in pairs.

"So I feel the contribution of all the bowlers is superb. Umesh is bowling well, he is bowling quick. Shami, again, yes, he has taken the extra responsibility of bowling with the new ball, and it gives Mohit a bit more time in the middle order with a bit more feel, and he has been very consistent.

"Overall the fast bowling department, the three of them, they bowled really well as a unit," he lauded the bowling unit's effort.

Dhoni further explained, "We want partnership in both batting and in bowling. We are not emphasising too much on individual performances. What we are looking for is the kind of partnership created by two individuals when they are bowling or batting.

"The whole essence of the team is how to win games. Definitely, he has bowled well, along with other bowlers, because if you're leaking runs from one end, it's difficult to get wickets and contain batsmen from the other end," he said.

Dhoni wasn't really amused when he was asked about how much points he would give his team on a scale of 10.

"I think we'll give the credit to the team. We won't give ratings or a point system because once the World Cup campaign is over there will be newspapers (he took names of two leading national dailies), they will all give us points; this individual gets this much points as if they have sat in an examination.

"But overall, as I said, the unit has done well. Bowlers, they have stepped up after the Tri-Series. They learned a lot out of the Tri-Series, and also from the away tours.

"At times people get too busy about, no, we have to win, we have to win, but what's more important is the bowlers or the batsmen, they have to learn what to do so that they can consistently win outside."

Asked about the strategy employed by the fast bowlers, Dhoni said, "No, we wanted to use the new ball, but at the same time we didn't want to try too many different things because they're batting in a slightly different way, especially if you see Chris (Gayle), he looks to give room.

"But what we did really nicely was they kept hitting the back of a length area, and they made it slightly uncomfortable for the batsmen," he said.

"They used the bounce or the variable bounce that was available for them in the first 10 really well, and Chris went for the big shots, and ultimately one of them didn't pay off. I felt they (bowlers) did well. The good thing was they didn?t try too many different things," he said.

Dhoni termed the WACA strip as a tough one.

"I think it was a tough wicket. As I said, it's not really easy to chase this kind of a score on a wicket where it?s slightly double paced. I felt when the West Indian team was batting it was slightly more difficult, especially the first 10 overs.

"But after that to some extent it settled down, but still, there was a bit of swing for the West Indian bowlers, which meant it was definitely difficult for our batsmen, also. The good thing, the batting order, all the batsmen, they got a chance to bat because this question was -- it was about to come in for the one discomfort, and the question would have been whether you are worried that the lower order has not been tested."

India dropped four catches and Dhoni said the cross winds were a factor.

"Yes, I believe it was slightly tough because of the wind factor. Everybody, almost all 11, you can say to some extent, dropped catches, even the best of fielders, and your average fielders also dropped catches.

"There must be something really that must be bothering them, and most of them they said it was the wind because of the way the ball was moving around a bit, and also they are finding it slightly difficult to keep their eyes open because of the brightness."

 

 

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